Title tags on your local business website are very important.  They tell the search engines and people searching for your product/service whether or not you are worth their time.  

3 Things a Title Tag Is

1. It’s that text you see at the top of your internet browser bar.  The title tag defines the title of a website page.

Hair Salon Title Tag

 

2. It’s also the link text that shows up in search engine results.

Hair salon boston  Google Search

3.  The title tag is a major (not the only!) factor used by Google to identify the content of your site and whether your site is worth listing in results when someone is searching for what your business is, does and/or provides.  In other words, it is a big component of search engine optimization of your website.

And, What A Title Tag Is Not

Home is a destination, not a an effective title tag…How often do you see “Home” show up in the top search results on Google?

Home is not a title tag

 

Crafting Your Title Tags

As you can see, title tags are an important part of your website that help people identify quickly in search results whether your product/service/offering fits their query.  It may be the difference between whether a person clicks on your website link or your competitors.

Each public page of your website has its own title tag.  Most websites have a way of editing each page’s title tag.  For example if you built your website using Intuit’s Website Builder then you have the ability to edit your title tags, called page titles by Intuit.  If your website was built by someone else then they should be able to edit your title tags.  

We build our websites with WordPress and use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to format our title tags.

WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin

A title tag is 70 characters in length, so use it wisely.  A few simple considerations to start.

  • Put more important words at the beginning
  • Make it readable to humans (don’t just write it for Google)
  • It should contain keywords relevant to that website page
  • Do not stuff with keywords or repeat the same words over and over

Local Business Title Tags

As a local business your title tags will be formatted differently from a business that services larger areas or are global.  This is because your physical location and/or areas served are important to those searching for local products and services.   Your location is also important to Google and other search engines that are delivering local search results.

The following are suggestions to be considered when writing your title tags.

Business Name:

  • Doesn’t have to be in every title tag.  Good news for businesses with long names or where name recognition is not important at all
  • Put in title tag if business name is important or contains keywords
  • Put in beginning of title tag if it contains keywords or very recognizable
  • Recommend that it be in your Home, About and/or Contact pages title tags.

Location:

  • Include at least your city and state in your title tag
  • Should be in every title tag
  • Include at beginning of page title if in a competitive market and location is important, i.e. Boston Cosmetic Dentist or Cosmetic Dentist Boston
  • On Contact and/or Location specific pages include street address
  • For businesses who travel to their customer’s location put in areas served  — cities, towns, metropolitan areas, etc.

Phone Number:

  • Include in your page title on your Contact/About/Location pages
  • There is speculation that including your phone number in the page title of the page you link your Google Place page too will help in your rankings

Keywords in Your Title Tags

  • Your Home Page title tag should contain what your main business is, i.e. Hair Salon, Landscaper, Auto Body Shop.
  • Use your other pages to include keywords that say what you offer/do, i.e. haircuts,  weeding services, dent repair.
  • Look at similar businesses in large cities who rank high in Google, what keywords are in their title tags?
  • Type your keywords into Google and look at related searches
  • Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find search volume and competition of keywords.  Select “Exact Match” to get better traffic estimates.

The End Result

1.  Formatted for Google with keywords and location first.

Hair Salon Title Tag

2.  Name recognition is important for this salon.

Amaci Salon Boston MA  Hair Coloring highlights Bridal Updos 1

3.  This landscaper wants to make sure their phone number is prominent.

Landscaper Title Tag

 

Suggested Reading

The following articles were useful in writing this post.

Creating a Proper Title Tag on LocalEdge SEO

Title Tags: Important, Overlooked, and Misunderstood on Small Business Shift

Local Search O-Pack and the Art of Title Tags on Search Engine Journal

How to Draft a List of Local Keywords for a Small Business

Do you have any tips when crafting title tags for local business websites?

 

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4 Responses to Home is a Destination, Not a Title Tag

  1. Mark Oliver says:

    Well crafted article. I know much of what you’ve said, but it would be good for my customers to read because it is so clear and easy to understand. Also, my take away is to add the Phone Number to titles for some pages. That seems like a very good idea I had never considered. Thank you.

    • el says:

      Hi Mark,

      I’m glad that the article was easy to understand. The information is out there but not always easy to find or understand. Being able to pull it together and write it simply for people who are not well-versed in SEO was important. I hope that your customers find it helpful.

      Thanks for giving me your feedback. It’s nice to be found down in Australia!
      Ellen

  2. Ray Cassidy says:

    Good run down on the tagging setup ElSue.
    You mentioned speculation that places link landing page on a website should carry phone number etc – in other words the NAP info Name Address & Phone Number.

    If you are not already aware of it then David Mihm’s excellent annual round up of local search ranking factors with input from US, UK and many other local SEO veterans is an extremely useful (almost scientific) appraisal of what is affecting and what isn’t affecting local rankings. The importance of NAP info for local search is definitely not speculation.

    Well worth a look for any business owner as well, who hasn’t got the financial resources to put into local seo. You can find Local Search Ranking Factors here. This is not a 5 second infographic skim. Set aside an hour or 2 to digest this at the very least!
    Ray

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